At the end of the movie when Lester gets his opportunity to take advantage of Angela's infatuation, he can't go through with it.
He realizes that she is not the experienced woman she has made herself out and that he has envisioned her to be and she actually reminds him of his own daughter. Freud believed very strongly in the Oedipus and Elektra complexes, the sexual attraction of a child to the parent of the opposite sex. What he doesn't discuss however, is the attraction, if any, of the parent to the child.
In my opinion, while the parent might be closer to that child because of the child's affection, only a parent with horrible mental problems would act upon that. Lester's mid-life crisis, like other men who experience the same dilemma, is, in my opinion, a battle between ego and superego.
As a man moves from being young and fertile to middle age, he wants to retreat to his more youthful days. While his ego is trying to hold him in check with relation to his past experiences, present responsibilities, and future aspirations, the superego is projecting an image of vibrant youthfulness that in reality the man cannot achieve.
This gives him a feeling of inadequacy, which can affect other areas of his life. In the movie, Lester attempted to free himself of his current obligations and become a strong, healthy man like he probably was previously. Initially, Lester is shown in unsaturated chilly colours to insinuate a drained life and lack of vigour. However, as the movie progresses and Lester is transformed we begin to witness him in brighter view of life and his garments colours changes as well; they change to yellow, to green and ultimately to red.
Further, Lester dons a red top, buys a red car and works in a job while in a white and red white costumes.
Sam employs this transformation of colour to elaborate that Lester recalls what he initially wanted in life; he notices the void in his life. The red outfits give Lester a sense of control and power over his own life. This transformation started as result of his initial encounter with Angela, who is the symbol of American beauty. Angela wears red outfits throughout the entire film. Moreover, she adorns red lipstick and bright colour clothes. These colours bring out passion and sexual sensations.
Red is also dominant in lipstick and nail polish for every woman in the movie. Caroline Burnham, a central female character, undergoes transformation as well. Although she outwardly seems controlling and isolated, inside she desires for power and passion. This is skilfully shown at the start of the film where Caroline wants to clean the house and she removes her clothes to reveal a red camisole beneath her yellow suit.
Moreover, while Caroline cleans the shadowy and dark house the back is a brightly lit wall. Further, Caroline experiences a personal breakdown Gavrelis, 5 and conceals her weeping face with the red nails, thus masking her atypical conduct. Carolyn tries to make up for her loneliness with acquiring things that she desires.
She buys a car, house with a good garden, but fails to notice the big picture. Like Lester, Caroline transforms, into a more grounded and secure person. Mendes shows this in the last episodes of the film when Caroline adorns a red velvet outfit. She becomes assertive and accepts to bond with Lester.
Earlier it is apparent that Caroline is preoccupied with success and competes with Buddy Kane, the successful symbol in real estate. Note that a red sign is mounted in his home to publicize himself, and it denotes his powers and sexual attraction to Caroline.
Lighting is another technique used by Conrad Hall in the film to achieve various goals. It sis used to add to the effectiveness scenes. Elsewhere, as Angela appears alone in the frame, the background becomes absolutely black and a bright light shines on Angela. This light comes above Angela although its source is not clear. In this scene, lighting is low key and high contrast. On the other hand, it is high contrast since the difference between darkness and light is obvious.
The lighting effects in the film make various contributions. Moreover, light is used to show good as light s used in the moments of sadness and bad things. Furthermore, light compliments the attributes of Angela who is a virgin. Because the lighting source is unknown, it would be worthwhile to assume that the light is originating from Heaven to shine on Angela as a sign of her innocence. Simultaneously, she is attempting to be someone else other who she is.
Angela time and again claims that she is experienced in terms of sex. What is more, the darkness that appears in the background is a revelation of what is going to happen if Angela continues with her lies.
Note that, although she is a virgin, Lester is unaware and views her differently, and has bad thoughts on her. He is sexually obsessed with her and his thoughts, which are highlighted with darkness, surrounds Angela together with her innocence. As Lester is prepared to begin the sex act, Angela reveals that she is a virgin. It is at this point that Lester realizes what he is doing and stops. The film introduces the audience to Lester Burnham Kevin Spacey , an ordinary married man and father in his forties.
In addition, Lester has dedicated fourteen years to his occupation, and suddenly, he is in danger of losing his job due to downsizing. All of these factors dramatically effect Lester and culminate into feelings of desperation and vulnerability.
Lester is therefore in search of an escape and a rebirth. Lester is seeking the slightest possibility of happiness. Throughout the story, Lester is consistently reminiscing on his past; wishing he could have it back. In the beginning of the movie, Lester, as the narrator, states that it is never too late to regain your past. Lester feels excited by the thought that a teenage girl thinks he is hot. Lester overhears Angela state that she would have sex with him if Lester would start working out.
This drives Lester to change himself completely. Lester, in desperate search of happiness, finds an escape in Angela. Much like a teenage boy, Lester thinks that if he can score with a girl like Angela, then he will be reborn. Lester sees his model for rebirth in Ricky.
Lester then begins a transformation back to his stereotypical understanding of what a teenager is.
- Characters are Central to American Beauty In this essay, I will be discussing this statement, demonstrating how the characters are established and how they develop. The first character that I will be discussing and analysing is Kevin spacey (Lester Burnham).
# 2: American Beauty and Thirteen In this essay, I have chose to talk about the movies, American Beauty and Thirteen from group #1. The two topics discussed in this essay from group #2 are identity and difference along with sexuality.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays. American Beauty tells the story of one man's search for happiness. American Beauty analysis essays This film, written by Alan Ball and directed by Sam Mendes, was released in It won many awards, including the Academy award for best picture, although it was and still is very controversial.
American Beauty Essay. The movie “American Beauty” is a drama film that depicts the inter-persona family relationships of repressed middle-class people, describes the process of rediscovering true values in life, and how personal changes affect inter-personal relationships (Cohen, Jinks, & Mendes, ). American Beauty Essay - American Beauty (, Sam Mendes) is the gruesome but realistic story of a family living in a seemingly perfect suburbia. Lester Burnham, a father who is falling out of love with his wife, Carolyn Burnham, struggles to maintain a relationship with his family and despises his work.